Monday, December 9, 2013

THE POWER OF POISON at AMNH by Polly Guerin

“One man’s poison may be another man’s elixir of health,” so say some wizards. The Power of Poison, a new exhibition at the Museum of Natural History, through August 10, 2014, explores poison’s paradoxical
roles in nature, human health and history, literature, and myth, and the role of science in demystifying and harnessing its power. The story of poison is surprising at every turn and a fascinating display it is for everyone’s curiosity. Whether as a defense against predators, a source of magical strength, or a lethal weapon used as lifesaving medical treatment the Museum invites visitors to explore some of history’s most puzzling poisoning cases. The traditional Origami Holiday Tree theme this year is Wicked, Wild, and Wonderful, featuring ornaments inspired by The Power of Poison exhibition.
Image: Mad Hatter's tea party from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland alluding to the real-life symptoms of mercury poisoning suffered by workers exposed to the substance in the hat-making industry in the 18th and 19th centuries.

MYTHS and MYSTERY People throughout history have created myths; they’ve told stories about the mysterious powers of poison, but in the natural world, poisons are simply part of the daily struggle to survive. The astonishing variety of evolutionary adaptations among toxic plants and animals is at the heart of this intriguing exhibition, which also examines humans’ attempts to understand poison’s potency, how the science of detecting poison has developed, and how researchers today use venom's and other natural toxins to develop new medical treatments.

FOLKLORE Scenes from familiar stories, include the Mad Hatter’s odd behavior, as the exhibition explains, was likely inspired by real-life symptoms of mercury poisoning suffered by workers exposed to the substance in the hat-making industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Not surprising, poisonous plants and other toxins can be found in the core of countless fairy tales and legends from around the world, and some of the most unlikely often contain kernels of truth. It’s a particularly child-friendly exhibition. Remember the famous scene in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which features a trio of witches, you’ll find them in the display as well.

INTERACTIVE ACTIVITY This is one of the most engaging sites; it’s the interactive section where eyewitness accounts and clues can be used to solve poisoning mysteries. The Detecting Poisons Theater requests your presence where live presenters engage the audience with stories of poisoning and forensic detection. Visitors will encounter some of history’s most puzzling poisoning cases, use clues to solve poisoning mysteries, and take part in the theater presentation to help unravel a real-world case of poisoning. The Villains and Victims section considers some of history’s most notorious poisoners and poisoning that still puzzle us today.

This is a fascinating exhibition; plan to spend the day. For additional information call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at amnh.org. The museum is located between 79th and 81st Street, Central Park west. For the educator’s Guide: amnh.org/poison/educators.





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ART SPIEGELMAN'S CO-MIX: A RETROSPECTIVE (c) By Polly Guerin

                                                                                                                                                           
Art Spiegelman has embraced the credo that comics are a medium for personal expression, creating candid accounts of his own experiences, dreams, neuroses, and frustrations. He once noted, “Spiegel means mirror in German, so my name co-mixes languages to form a sentence: Art mirrors man.”

In an art career that now spans five decades, Art Spiegelman, one of the most influential living comics artists, is celebrated at The Jewish Museum, through March 23, 2014 in the exhibition; Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps; a comprehensive overview of his career showing the full range of years of experimentation. Starting from the artist’s earliest self-published comics and lavish graphics on display are an eye-popping view of the legendary artist’s works. Image; Art Spiegelman, cover art for Print magazine, May/June 1981, ink and collage paper. Copyright (c) 1981, Used by permission of the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.

Spiegelman is as original as anyone can get and his oeuvre has inspired countless cartoonists, while his shorter works have substantially expanded the expressive range of comics. He has continually reinvented comics, and he has also made a distinct mark in book and magazine design, bubble gum cards, lithography, modern dance, and most recently stained glass. His body of work is a breathtaking and powerful display and the museum’s impressive presentation is an awe-inspiring tribute to the artist.

MAUS MAGAZINE Spiegelman’s art form spans his early years in underground comix to the thirteen year genesis of Maus, his Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust memoir, the graphic novel about his parents’ survival of the Holocaust, which established the graphic novel as a legitimate art form. More recent works include provocative covers for the New Yorker, including his first cover, which pictured a Hasidic Jewish man and an African-American woman locked in a passionate Valentine’s Day embrace. The exhibition illustrates Spiegelman’s artistic collaborations in new and unexpected media; his painstaking creative process, and over three hundred preparatory sketches, preliminary and final drawings, as well as prints and other ephemeral and documentary material. Image: Valentine's Day, Art Spiegelman, Cover Art for Print magazine. Used by permission of the artist and The Wylie Agency, LLC.

Born in Stockholm in 1948, Art Spiegelman was the first comic’s artist to win the Pulitzer Prize, he co-edited Raw, and his comics have appeared not only in the New Yorker, but The New York Times, Playboy, and Harper’s. Spiegelman has been named one of the 100 most influential People by Time, elected to the Art Director Club’s Hall of Fame, made a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005; truly a man of his time and a New Yorker.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. For information call 212.423.3200 or visit TheJewishMsueum.org





Saturday, November 23, 2013

FUTURISTIC HOLIDAY WINDOWS (c) By Polly Guerin

New York puts on a grand show with holiday windows that glitter and dazzle with futuristic themes. It’s the best show in town with acrobats scaling a luxury retailer’s façade to scenes of a nostalgic department store and video projections that transform the island of Manhattan. Now is the time to catch magic, catch the glittering show, catch the entertainment!!! It’s the best of New York and Only in New York my friends, Here’s the scoop!!

BARNEY’S entertainment has futuristic visions with performers from the improvisational group, Upright Citizens Brigade, who wear Space Age costumes by Zaldy. Christmas gets a high-tech spin where Santa and Mrs. Claus ‘virtually’ spin around the city in a souped-up sleigh that looks strangely familiar, like Batmobile. Shoppers are invited to take part by entering the actual window to ride the Santa’s sleigh. It looks like entertainment art at its most forward thrust into the future.

BERGDORF GOODMAN’S Holiday on Ice theme features icy frozen dioramas that depict holidays throughout the year, the kind that can give you glacier chills. A frozen garden party takes some dexterity to view. A window depicting July 4th takes some dexterity to view. It depicts a frozen garden party installed upside down. Valentie’s day is frozen in pink time with rich cakes and desserts and a pink fur clad mannequin seated at a desk. Outside 3-foot-high icicles adorn the windows.

LEE’S STATIONERY while these windows showcase a treasure trove of Christmas gifts, the most eye-popping display is a tall ornament decorated Christmas tree that has a constant cascade emerging from the top of the tree sending snow falling down on its branches. Inside the store every imaginable color scheme is coordinated; silver, gold, traditional red, green, even blue for Hanukkah. Charming are the toys for children and adult--- Santa’s climbing a ladder, merry-go-rounds and snow-packed sky lifts.

LORD & TAYLOR delights as usually with a traditional theme that strikes at the nostalgic note in our hearts. Elegant windows with sophisticated figures depict shoppers in 20s to 40s era fashions in a store of yesteryear, a store with fairytale images where shoppers gaily carry packages with bright red ribbons. Most endearing is ‘Holiday Cheer’ a depiction of Santa in his traditional pose waiting for children at the top of the stairs.

BLOOMINGDALES goes international and adhere to its slogan “Like no other store in the world” with large gift boxes that rotate to reveal holiday scenes from different countries. Whimsical and magical scenes from Great Britain, Italy, France and China and New York reveal holiday windows in world venues. ‘Festive Greetings from Paris’ replete with the Eiffel Tower and pink poodles. Enchantment here is at its most worldly interpretation-- it’s a storybook adventure.

Ta Ta darlings!! I’m just an old-fashioned gal, I loved L & T’s windows, but the visions planted in my head of futuristic themes were the most inventive. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.



 

Monday, November 18, 2013

TIFFANY, A JEWEL-BOX GALLERY, MCNY By Polly Guerin

At the end of the nineteenth century New York was an unprecedented vibrant place, where the elite class expressed their high status through extravagant fashions, jewelry and the decorative arts. It was the era of Edith Wharton’s “Age of Innocence,” and the Museum of the City of New York pays homage to the gilded trip in an extravagant exhibition, “The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery, “ which opened recently on the Museum’s third floor. It was during these years the United States, and its cultural capital, New York City, achieved a new level of sophistication in painting, sculpture and architecture, and when absolute decorum ruled. Image: Portrait of Cornelia Ward Hall and her children by Michele Gordigiani.

THE GILDED AGE New York had its own upstairs and downstairs when the existence of cooks, coachmen, valets and lady’s maids were deemed “de rigueur". Industrial titans, such as Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller erected mansions that marched up Fifth Avenue. It was a display of sumptuous consumption, when, there was no income tax, enabling the nation to compete for the first time on the world stage, giving rise to the epithet of the era, The Gilded Age.

A JEWEL BOX GALLERYIt was an enviable time, but for other citizens, cut from a less fortunate
lifestyle, they could only observe how the leading industrialists vied with one another to exhibit their wealth by adoring their wives with glittering jewels and magnificent gowns created by the House of Worth in Paris. Onlookers could observe the guests attending fancy dress balls in glittering costumes or watch their horse-drawn carriages where ladies showed off rich accoutrements—on exhibit, a diamond and emerald broach worn by Metropolitan soprano Emma Eames. Walls were adorned with American and French paintings of the era’s social and financial figures. Most fetching in the gallery is the portrait of the exquisitely dressed entourage of Cornelia Ward Hall and her children by Michele Gordigiani, and Louisa Van Rensselaer Baylies by Carolus-Duran.

DOMESTIC INTERIOR The Museum’s jewel-box gallery does not disappoint but evokes a Gilded Age domestic interior with decorative wallpaper, mirrored window shutters, draperies and herringbone wood flooring, as well as an historic chandelier and fireplace mantel form the Museum’s collection. Step into the ambiance of the elegant space where display cases present the most opulent jewelry that hallmarked the rise of Tiffany & Co. and the fine craftsmanship of eye-popping jewels composed of gold, pearls, plique-a-jour enamel and diamonds.

FASHIONABLE LADIES Charles Frederick Worth, founder of the French Haute Couture, was the fashion superstar of the day. His stunning scarlet silk damask evening dress in chrysanthemum pattern showcases the trend toward a glamorous look. Decorative objects in silver and gold and elaborate silver flatware draw attention as does the artistic wares that could rival those in Europe. Silver presentation pieces marking important sporting and civic events such as yacht races grew in size and grandeur as the century progressed. Stylish interiors also included Venetian glass from Italy acquired on the Grand Tour to Europe. One of a fashionable home’s most prized possessions was fine furniture by Herter Brothers, sofas carved with high dimension roses or inlaid and gilded side chairs.

Make your way up to The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, between 103 and 104th Streets and find out for yourself how the Gilded Age shaped the city’s metamorphosis into a cultural capital. www.mcny.org The exhibit runs through November 30, 2013.

The accompanying book GILDED NEW YORK: Design, Fashion and Society examines this period and coordinates with the

Polly Guerin is author of the book THE COOPER HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (History Press 2012),  The Tradesmen, Craftsmen and Artisans of New York, publication date 20l5.

Monday, November 11, 2013

FASHION MERGES WITH CULTURAL TREASURES (c) By Polly Guerin

The culture capital of the world invites you to experience a wealth of museum treasures revisiting icons of historical reference from Alta Moda to The Salon and Botero. It’s more than meets the eye, the best of New York and Only in New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!

ALTA MODA by MARIO TESTINO Known primarily for his work in fashion magazines, Testino makes a bold departure with his series Alta Moda---literally “high fashion” in Spanish. The exhibit at Queen Sofia Spanish Institute documents Peruvians in their vibrantly colored and ornately adorned traditional and festive dress from Cusco, one of the highest mountain regions of Peru. While Alta Moda appears to reference traditional ethnographic photography, Testino has, in fact, captured several stories within each photograph. “I usually try to capture the moment,” says Testino. “But with this series I wanted to do something very different. I tried to fit as much tine and history into each frame as possible from the traditional and festive clothing to the Chambi backdrops to the Peruvian people in them. Alta Moda will be accompanied by a series of related public programs. Check the website www.qssi.org for a schedule of events. Opens November 20-through March 29, 2014.

THE SALON ART + DESIGN which the New York Times dubbed a “museum in the making,” returns to New York for its second edition this fall November 14 through the18th at the Park Avenue Armory at 65th street. Seeking to reflect the eclectic style of today’s interiors the Salon combines the works of modern art and the design from 1890 to the present with older items that could be considered forebears, as well as ethnographic pieces. Fifty-three leading international dealers participate; half are members of France’s prestigious Syndicat National des Antiquaries, from the venerable Kraemer specializing in the very finest 18th century antiques and objets d’art, to the hip, forward looking Carpenters Workshop gallery, which collaborates with both established and emerging talents. For further details visit: thesalonny.com

FERNANDO BOTERO, CIRCUS PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS The artist’s latest book title marks the first time the complete circus series has ever been published together as a collection and represents all of the Botero’s work on one of his favorite subjects. In the tradition of great painters also inspired by circus fantasy-Renoir, Picasso, Chagall, and Calder, among others-Botero explores light, colors, style and space with a poignancy that highlights through the extravagant disproportion of his figures the exceptional beauty of the human body. In CIRCUS, a collection of more than 130 paintings and 50 works on paper, the esteemed artist uses bright colors and unexpected movement to artfully manifest the poetry of the circus, inviting the viewer to participate in a circus with Botero as the artful ringmaster. Available on Amazon.

Ta Ta darlings!! Alta Moda is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.



 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Cultural Venues: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (c) By Polly Guerin

Frosty weather may direct us indoors but this week it is certain to percolate our agenda with diverse cultural venues. Whether you are a space age aficionado or looking for a place to entertain your creative sensitivities the sky’s the limit in New York City’s ever amazing events. Only in New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!

DARK UNIVERSE A spectacular new Hayden Planetarium show at the Space Theater, American Museum of Natural History, sends you soaring into the universe with amazing images that dramatically show the recent dramatic advances in our knowledge of the universe and explores what’s to come in the future of cosmology.

PARACHUTE TROUGH JUPITER Dark Universe lets the visitor observe the night sky at the historic Wilson Observatory in California—where Edwin Hubble first discovered galaxies outside our own—then soar across the Milky Way Galaxy, and parachute through Jupiter’s atmosphere with a probe from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. In this breathtaking show you find out how discoveries over the past 100 years have led us to two great cosmic mysteries: dark matter and dark energy.

NEIL de GRASSE TYSON, astrophysicist, prolific science communicator, and the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, who I first met years ago when I was a member of ARCS, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, narrates the new Space Show. In his rich sonorous baritone he keeps you riveted to your seat as he introduces viewers into the mysteries of dark energy, the force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

PIVOTAL DISCOVERIES The new Hayden Planetarium Space show celebrates the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge and history of the universe and our place in it, and to new frontiers for exploration. Featuring exquisite renderings of enigmatic cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space. Dark Universe was produced by an innovative team that includes astrophysicists and science visualization experts. Tyson said, “Any kid can get something out of the show, and then comeback to get a little more, a little more of its layering information” Obviously this show takes time to assimilate into our mind's view of the universe. Dark Universe is not a one-time visit, it is an enticing 'come back' experience for children and adults of all ages. Member Tickets are $13.50 adults; $8.50 children. Location: 81street and Central Park West. Advance tickets are available by phone: 212.769. 5200 or by visiting amnh.org.'

Ta Ta darlings!! “DARK UNIVERSE” is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net . Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.


Polly Guerin author: THE COOPER HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (HISTORY PRESS 2012)

 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

COCKTAIL SHAKERS SYMBOL OF CHIC (c) By Polly Guerin


Ah!!! The sound of ice cubes dancing in a cocktail shaker. Nothing is more welcome than that rhythmic sound which signals the hour before dinner when the appetite is whetted by the brew as liquors, fruit juices, syrups mix with various alcoholic beverages are vigorously shaken into libations for the cocktail hour. My aunt Virgie’s husband Bruce, who prized among his possessions a cocktail shaker that looked like an airplane, was a master of the art and his airplane-inspired cocktail shaker went beyond the call of duty. Pictured here: the Duel-Fuel Cocktail Shaker with two side wings that double as flasks.

A POPULAR ARTIFACT The 1920’s prohibition era in the United States. The quintessential era of cocktail shaker history, produced many different cocktail shaker shapes and designs including zeppelins, lighthouses, penguins and towering bullet shaped or skyscraper models. These were the icons of the Jazz Age when they reached their zenith of popularity. The leading expert on these sophisticated and stylish artifacts is Stephen Visakay, a collector and dealer of cocktail shakers and bar accoutrements, and whose fascinating collection numbers over 1,400. These winsome artifacts became celebrities in their own right and were associated with the glamorous lives of movie stars and took star billing in numerous movies. 

SOPHISTICATED CHIC Cocktail shakers became symbols of sophistication and the good life for the cognoscenti and everyone else wanted to get into the act, even some Art Deco devotees who attended a recent vernissage. Visakay introduced some of the cocktail shakers from his rare collection at a meeting /cocktail reception of (ADSNY) the Art deco Society of New York. A lively gathering of Art Deco enthusiasts joined in the social amenities at an ADSNY member’s Deco- inspired apartment furnished with Art Deco artifacts and a spectacular cocktail shaker bar---truly we were in a stratospheric Art Deco venue with magnificent views. For information about ADSNY visit: www.artdeco.org.

COCKTAIL SHAKER LORE
Visakay has been featured in numerous magazines and he has been named one of America’s top 100 collectors so anything you want to know about cocktail shakers can be had in his book Vintage Bar Ware –Identification and Value Guide or visit: www.visakay.com. With the advent of WWII the cocktail shaker had a brief demise because all non-essential uses of metal were redirected towards the war effort. However, the cocktail shaker was never forgotten and it had a brief resurgence in the 1950’s in “rec rooms” with bars. Then the electric blender was the final blow. However, the innkeeper who invented the cocktail shaker as we know it can be rest assured that in bars and in private homes the cocktail shaker is holding its own today as a symbol of acquired taste and sophistication.

Polly Guerin author: THE COOPER-HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (HISTORY PRESS 2012)

Monday, October 21, 2013

GEM CULTURE ADDS SPARKLE TO NYC (c) By Polly Guerin

Gem culture’s brilliant venues spark museum exhibitions with historical and modernity. Reaching to the chic of all ages fashion designer and jewelry venues offer the best of New York’s ongoing romance with luxury. Get your first row seat on the red carpet. Only in New York my friends. Here’s a gem of a scoop!!

GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING This just in from Lynne Saginaw, “Vermeer’s “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” the winsome young woman gazing over her shoulder with wide, longing-to-see-you eyes takes up residence as the sole occupant of the Oval Room at the Frick Collection from October 22 through January 19, 2014. Last seen in New York in 1984 this is a rare and special opportunity.” Her portrait will be joined by 14 more works by the 17th Dutch masters in the exhibition, “Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting” all on loan from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, in the Hague, which is undergoing a two-year, full-scale restoration. Fair warning: This is going to be a very popular exhibition, GET TICKETS EARLY. The Frick Collection is located at 1 East 70th St; Tuesdays thru Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm. Sunday 11 to 5 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 212.388-0700. Frick.org

PRIVATE: GIANCARLO GIAMMETTI has written the quintessential autobiography in a giant, photography-heavy, coffee-table book published by Assouline, and will be at Parsons The New School on Nov. 7th to dish out his life’s adventure with Valentino. Giammetti who met Valentino Garavani in 1960---the same year “La Dolce Vita,” hit the big screen—and who helped him mint multimillions, was in full form recently: dapper, chatty and still slightly in awe of the route that his life has taken. The book features photographs of his daily diaries and images ranging from black and white shots to color-drenched shots of pals including Pat Cleveland, Oscar de la Renta, Jacqueline Onassis, and Meryl Streep to name a few. The book written with W magazine’s Armand Limnander, will be available for purchase on assouline.com and online October 25, and at the publisher’s boutiques on Nov. 4.

SACRED VISIONS; 19th CENTURY BIBLICAL ART from the DAHESH MUSEUM COLLECTION, a dazzling jewel of an exhibition, explores great artwork inspired by the Bible, and Dahesh’s 19th century academicians who excelled at representing biblical themes. This exhibition considers the rich diversity and transformation of biblical subject matter and features approximately 30 religious paintings, drawings and sculptures by well-known artists like Leon Bonnat, Gustave Dore, Jean-Leon Gerome, Alexandre Cabanel, as well as their lesser known, but equally gifted contemporaries. In addition, on display are volumes drawn from the American Bible Society’s Rare Bible Collection. Of popular 19th century Bibles richly illustrated by Dore and James Tissot, Sacred Visions is on view at the Museum of Biblical Art, 1865 Broadway at 61st Street, through February 16, 2014. The Museum is open six days a week Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-6pm.

VARIATIONS on a THEME: 25 Years of Design from the American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) showcases outstanding jewelry design at the prestigious Forbes Galleries in New York on Fifth Avenue, between 12th and 13th streets. The exhibition will dazzle museum visitors with one-of-a-kind works from over 40 American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) members on view through February 22, 2014. Annually, the council asks its members to create a design project, interpreting a single concept or theme, the final product is a collection of unique jewelry pieces joined by a solitary concept. Past themes included simple conceptual elements such as “Water”, “Spiral”, “Ice”, and “Flight” imagined into breathtaking masterpieces made of precious metals, gemstones and unexpected materials. Not to be missed!!! www.americanjewelrydesigncountcil.org.

Ta Ta darlings!! “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net . Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.

Author Polly Guerin: The Cooper-Hewitt Dynasty of New York (History Press 2012)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

INTERROBANG ?! Punctuation Remembered (c) By Polly Guerin


With the popularity of personal shorthand text messages and tweets with as many abbreviations that the human mind can think up, could the Interrobang punctuation have a new place in today’s culture?

Also known as the quesclamation mark, it sometimes appeared as ?!” A stylish fusion of a question mark superimposed on an exclamation point the mark was used at the end of a rhetorical question for use in sentences like, “You did that?!” At first Interrobang was not available in type and the combined symbols were hand drawn by lettering artists. However, the Interrobang deserves its due recognition as it is the only punctuation mark invented by an American and was also featured in Americana (font). To this end we owe a note of gratitude to Martin Speckter, one of the original “Mad” men in advertising’s hall of fame.

INTERROBANG'S ORIGIN It was introduced in 1962 by Martin Speckter, president of the New York advertising and public relations agency, Martin K. Speckter Associates, Inc. In addition to running the agency with his wife, Penny Speckter. Martin was editor of the magazine, Type Talks, a trade publication put out by The Advertising Typographers Association of America. Speckter invited readers of the magazine to coin a name for the new mark and of all the names submitted Interrobang was chosen. It is a blend of interrogation and bang, an old printer's term for the exclamation mark. It is significant to note that Interrobang is the only punctuation invented in the 20th century. The mark was eventually made available on some typewriters and recognized by several dictionaries. Interrobang continued to be popular much of the 1960s during the time that the television series “Mad Men” is set.

Pictured Left; MARTIN SPECKTER with early interrobang designs. Image from the World-Herald, June 1967.

INTERPRETING INTERROBANG The mark is said to be the typographical equivalent of a grimace or a shrug of the shoulders. For example, the Interrobang could be used in expressions like this “You call that a hat ?!” Most significantly from a business point of view Speckter believed that advertising copywriters needed a new mark to punctuate exclamatory rhetorical questions common in advertising headlines. For example: “What ?! Whiter than White?!” In Allan Haley’s feature “The Interrobang is Back?! he wrote: “In this type of copy, neither an exclamation point nor a question mark (used alone) could fully convey the writer’s intent. Speckter’s solution was to combine the two into a single symbol.”

Penny Speckter, Martin’s widow keeps the Interrobang flame still burning brightly in her memories about the mark’s creator and his passion for typography. Well into her 90s, Penny still fulfills her role as the quintessential “Mad Woman.” Today she is editor of GSMT NEWS, the newsletter for The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, whose motto is “By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand. Penny also serves on the organization’s Board of Governors.

GSMT is located at 20 West 44th Street, New York 10036. www.generalsociety.org

Monday, October 14, 2013

NEW YORK FASHION SCOOPS: Haute Couture, American Style, Dandyism (c) By Polly Guerin

Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Barbes' women's readytowear collection
Fashion is back in town with ever fascinating venues to keep every fashionista in its mesmerizing grip. Reaching to the chic of all ages fashion designer venues and ancient textiles and costumes offer the best of New York’s ongoing romance with design. Get your first row seat on the red carpet. Only in New York my friends. Here’s the fashion scoop!!

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: What a theatrical spectacle!!! the first international exhibition celebrating the career of the legendary French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier, who shaped the look of contemporary fashion with his avant-garde designs makes its only east coast stop on an international tour at the Brooklyn Museum. Whether showcasing men’s skirts or sending plus-size models down the runway, Jean Paul Gaultier has consistently celebrated individuality and the fun-loving aspect of fashion. The Brooklyn presentation, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk includes for the first time pieces from Gaultier’s most recent collections and stage costumes worn by Beyonce. They are among 140 haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles and iconic costumes, such as the clothes created for Madonna’s Blond Ambition, Confessions, and MDNA tours. Accompanying the designs, many of which displayed on specially created, lifelike mannequins by Jolicoeur International are sketches, excerpts from films, concerts, and dance performances and photographs by Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and others---all testifying to the daring genius of Jean Paul Gaultier. Opens October 25, 2013 to February 23, 2014, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Brooklynmuseum.org IMAGE: Jean Paul Gaultier's Barbes women's readytowear collection l984-85, by Paolo Roversi.

AN AMERICAN STYLE: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design Thoughout history ancient and ethnic costumes have always inspired fashion designers. However, when the creative direction from Europe was disrupted by World War I, as it would also do so with World War II, a movement began, at first limited in scope. Beginning in 1915, New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) embarked upon a mission to inspire and energize the American design industry by giving textile designers and manufacturers unprecedented access to the museum’s ethnographic collections. Drawing upon the imperialistic notion that Euro-American culture could lay special claim to indigenous artifacts from the Americas, AMNH anthropology curators sought to innovate a distinctly “American” design idiom. The exhibition is eye-popping attraction at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery 18 East 86th Street, through February 2, 2014.  www.bard.edu

VARIATIONS on a THEME: 25 Years of Design from the American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) showcases outstanding jewelry design at the prestigious Forbes Galleries in New York on Fifth Avenue, between 12th and 13th streets. The exhibition will dazzle museum visitors with one-of-a-kind works from over 40 American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) members on view through February 22, 2014. Annually, the council asks its members to create a design project, interpreting a single concept or theme, the final product is a collection of unique jewelry pieces joined by a solitary concept. Past themes included simple conceptual elements such as “Water”, “Spiral”, “Ice”, and “Flight” imagined into breathtaking masterpieces made of precious metals, gemstones and unexpected materials. Not to be missed!!! www.americanjewelrydesigncountcil.org.

DANDYISM The topic of a the new book, “I am Dandy” The Return of the Elegant Gentlemen,” focuses
on the obsession of male preening in a compilation of photographs by photographer Rose Callahan and text, penned by Nathaniel Adams. “It takes a man of supreme confidence to be a dandy. It has to be unshakable confidence. They couldn’t live any other way,” said Callahan. “They are consumed with elegance and self-expression and have a love of dressing. that verges on obsession.” Legendary New York dandy Patrick McDonald, pictured here, defined the dandy as follows: “I wake up in the morning as a blank canvas and some days I feel modern, some days I feel surreal and I just paint myself with my clothes.” Available at major book stores and Amazon.

Ta Ta darlings!! Jean Paul Gaultier’s extravaganza is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at . Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.

Polly Guerin, author THE COOPER-HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (History Press 2012)
www.pollytalk.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MUSEUM VENUES: THE BEST OF NEW YORk (c) By Polly Guerin

Museum venues percolate with extravagant exhibitions from the Terror of the Soul to Rockefeller's Vision and photography visionaries. It's the best of New York, and Only in New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!


EDGAR ALLAN POE: TERROR OF THE SOUL The works of Edgar Allan Poe have frightened and thrilled readers for more than 150 years and continues to enchant and intrigue today’s followers. The Terror of the Soul, an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum, through January 26, 2014, brings together more than one hundred items related to Poe’s poetry, fiction and literary criticism, and explores his profound influence on his contemporaries and later generations of writers as diverse as Charles Dickens, Valdimir Nabokov, and Terry Southern. “The common perception that Edgar Allan Poe was a writer solely with tales of the macabre and grotesque fails to do justice to the full range of this extraordinary talent,” said William M. Griswold, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Poe was also a superb literary critic, and early pioneer of detective fiction, and a celebrated poet. On view will be such works as “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells” in Poe’s own hand; one of the earliest paintings of “The Raven,” the first printing of “The Cask of Amontillado,” and an unprecedented three copies of Tamerlane, Poe’s earliest work and one of the rarest books in American Literature. The Poe Double feature films Nov. 8 at 7pm include adaptations of short stories, House of Usher and Murders in the Rue Morgue. At 225 Madison Ave. , at 35th Street. www.themorgan.org

THE NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER VISION: In Pursuit of the Best. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (AAOA) celebrates the genesis of its permanent collection with a special exhibition that opened this week and runs through October 5, 2014. Highlighting some 50 masterpieces and many unpublished documents select from the more than 3,000 Rockefeller gifts reveals his vision for The Museum of Primitive Art, the first institution dedicated entirely to the artistic excellence of the arts of AAOA. “A generation before ‘globalism’ became a household name, Nelson Rockefeller’s vision for The Museum of Primitive Art was to make evident the enormous spectrum of artistic absent in the Met’s fine art holdings,” said Alisa LaGamma, Curator in Charge of the Dept. From the America’s: a ceramic ‘Baby’ figures, from Oceanic Solomon Island Shields with mother of pearl inlay, from Africa: a monumental D’mba headdress from Guineas and a Tlingit knife from Alaska. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue. www.metmuseum.org

MoMA'S NEW PHOTOGRAPHY 2013 highlights eight contemporary artists whose works expand the definition of photography in the 21st Century. The exhibition held through January 6, 2014, features 762 recent works: the photographer’s porous practices---grounded in photographic books, mass media, photomontage, music, film and science---mark a shift in the understanding of “what a picture could be. The artists selected for this year’s exhibition include Annette Kelm, Lisa Oppenheim, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, to name a few. “Understanding the idea that there has never been just one type of photography,” Roxanna Marcoci, curator, says, “The artists in this exhibition explore reversals between abstraction and representation, documentary and conceptual processes, the uniquely handmade and the mechanically reproducible, analogue and digital techniques. Brendan Fowler (American, b. 1978) is a musician who has been practicing as a visual artist since 2008. In his signature works, Fowler overlaps up to four framed pictures by literally crashing one through another, mixing photography, sculpture, and performance. In her series of photographs "It’s Not My Body" (2011), Josephine Pryde (British, b. 1967) references both the history of the darkroom experiments and contemporary medical imaging techniques. At 11 W. 53 Street. www.MoMA.org

Ta Ta darlings!! A Poe’s Terror of the Soul is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.

Author: Polly Guerin, The Cooper-Hewitt Dynasty of New York (History Press 2012)



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ONLY AUTHENTICS, LUXURY HANDBAG AUCTION (c) By Polly Guerin

Breaking News: A FABULOUS HANDBAG EVENT On view all this week through October 12th an extensive collection is offered for sale—Hermes, Birkins and Kellys plus Chanel featured classics to runway exclusives—co-sponsored by Alice Kwartler and Only Authentics, 445 Park Avenue (betw 56 & 57 Sts.)

THE HANDBAG SULTAN Only Authentics Virgil Rogers, who I call the Sultan of Handbags, showcases an extraordinary collection of luxury handbags, vintage and rare pieces that are truly investment fashion pieces from top luxury brands in mint condition and on-trend colors. The cognoscenti, savvy women are beginning to realize that the treasures they put in their closets have great future value.

HANDBAG S ON DEMAND Only Authentic collection offers women who want a particular bag instant access. Instead of being put on the wait list for a particular bag this event presents a wide range of Hermes, Birkins, Kellys and Chanels that any fashionista or collector will cherish. Rogers’s next luxury handbag event is at the Eastside Jewelry Show, October 18-19 at the National Bohemian Hall, (The Czech Cultural Center) at 321 E. 73 St. (betw First and Second Ave) . For upcoming shows and events visit “onlyauthentics.com” or contact: onlyauthentics@gmail.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

LOOT 2013 MAD ABOUT JEWELRY (c) By Polly Guerin

THIS JUST IN: The Museum of Arts and Design’s annual exhibition and sale of one-of-a-kind , artist-made jewelry returns to the MAD from October 2-5, 2013. A Museum-wide Jewelry Day will take place on the last day of the exhibition, Saturday October 5 from 12 pm to 5 pm, and will offer panels on contemporary art jewelry, drop-in workshops, screenings, curator-led tours and a roster of some of the most exciting local artist and designers creating jewelry in Open Studies.

RARE OPPORTUNITY Now in its 13th year LOOT has become the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary studio and art jewelry, offering the public the rare opportunity to meet some of the most innovative jewelry arts in the world and purchase a treasure at the same time. It’s the best of New York, and Only in New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!

INTERNATIONAL COUNTRIES represented at LOOT include Argentina, Denmark, Japan, Poland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom to name a few. Participating artists in this year’s LOOT, too many wonderful artisans from 20 countries to mention here, includes:

Marina Massone (Argentina) Marina creates unique, and airy, metallic structures, cascading, bibs and necklaces with curves and movement in precise and finely pleated metals, organic flower-like structures that move with the body. Pictured left one of Massone's necklaces.

Michael Berger (Germany) – Berger’s hand-made collections feature kinetic rings that move and spin on the wearer’s hand. Some twirling objects resemble space ships while others fashion in black twirl about inbedded with diamonds.

Jane Macintosh (UK)- inspired by the Bauhaus movement, Mackintosh crafts one-of simple yet bold jewelry using traditional goldsmithing skills. She combines silver with gold or palladium and uses a matte finish to bring out the subtle tones and colors.

Ta Ta darlings!! LOOT at MAD is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.



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Sunday, September 29, 2013

CULTURAL TREASURES, THE 1920S AND '30S REVISITED (c) By Polly Guerin

The culture capital of the world invites you to experience a wealth of museum treasures revisiting icons of modernism, The Mystery of the Ordinary and more than meets the eye in the best of New York, and Only in New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!

THE FUTURIST NORMAN BEL GEDDES In a first collaboration with the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas, at Austin, the Museum of the City of New York presents “Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future," which will be on view from October 16 to February 10, 2014. It is the first major exploration of this remarkable visionary’s work. Bel Geddes played a significant role in the 1920’s and ‘30s shaping of modern America. He is best known to New Yorkers for the Futurama exhibition at the 1939-40 World’s Fairs and much of what Americans take as commonplace, such as interstate highways, a visit to a multi-media Broadway show, dinner in a sky-high restaurant were innovations by Geddes. The exhibit brings together 200 never-before-seen drawings, models, photographs and films of theater sets and costumes, housing projects, appliances, airplanes and automobiles. For the schedule of events www.mcny.org Image: Norman Bel Geddes, Motor Car No. 9 (without tail fin) ca. 1933. Courtesy of the Edith Lutyens and Bel Geddes Foundation/Harry Ransom Center.

MAGRITTE, The Mystery of the Ordinary Explores the Artist’s breakthrough surrealist years with pivotal works from the 1920’s and 1930’s. On view at The Museum of Modern Art the exhibit showcases an intensely innovative period in which Rene Magritte aligned with the Surrealist movement, and his uncanny depictions of ordinary objects constituted an important new direction in Surrealist art. The exhibition offers fresh insight into the beginnings of Magritte’s extraordinary career as a modern painter and Surrealist artist. Like the artist and poets associated with the Surrealist movement, Magritte sought to overthrow what he saw as the oppressive rationalism of bourgeois society. PICTURED HERE: The Human Condition (1933) brings together two of Magritte’s favorite themes: the window painting” and the “painting within a painting.” For further details www.moma.org MoMA, 11 W. 53rd St.

ART IN THE SPANISH AMERICAN HOME (1492-1898) This is the first major exhibition to explore the private lives, power struggles, and domestic collecting practices of the Spanish Colonial elite, some of the wealthiest people of their time. The Brooklyn Museum brings together some 160 paintings, sculptures, prints, textiles and decorative art objects that demonstrate how the new moneyed classes secured their social status through the spectacular private display of luxury goods, from all over the world. The exhibition invites visitors into an elite Spanish colonial home, beginning with public reception rooms hung with family portraits and filled with luxurious objects and ending with more private rooms where the family received only the most trusted confidants. Through January 12, 2014. www.brooklynmuseum.org

Ta Ta darlings!! A Norman Bel Geddes is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.



Monday, September 23, 2013

CULTURAL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, BIG APPLE VENUES (c) By Polly Guerin

New York City, the culture capital of the world, invites you to experience Mumbai. Pictured here highlights from Maharashtra.                                                         
Or wear your best French beret and trip the light fantastic into the world of French culture and dining delights. Discover marble sculptures and cross the line to enjoy French venues. It’s the best of New York, my friends, only in New York. Here’s the scoop!!

UNVEILING MAHARASHTRA (MUMBAI) invited everyone to Times Square this weekend to experience Diwali, widely known as the festival of lights and the most popular Asian-Indian festival in the first-of-its-kind international initiative to promote Indian culture, heritage and diversity with live-performance from some of the biggest names in Bollywood featured with a breathtaking laser light show. Produced by Event Guru, a global event management company. Visit www.diwalitimessquare.com

A TASTE OF FRANCE Calling all Francophiles!!! Billed as “The world’s largest event dedicated to France,” the second annual Taste of France showcases both traditional and cutting edge French contributors to the fields ranging from fashion and culture to education, tourism and technology. More than 50 of the country’s finest chefs present scores of regional specialties paired with wine and other beverages. The show includes market stalls, live entertainment, a “Promenade of the Arts” and petanque fields. September 28 and 29 at Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Ave. www.letasteoffrance.com

CROSSING THE LINE Now in its seventh year, Crossing the Line is a critically acclaimed month long festival celebrating the talents of innovative visual and performing artists based in France and New York City. The 2013 edition includes “Systema,” a collaboration between the 81-year old electronic music composer Elaine Radique and the prominent contemporary artist Xavier Veilhan; “La Bibliotheque,” an interactive project by the conceptual artist Fanny de Chaille; and playwright, theater director and choreographer Pascal Rambert’s “Une (micro) histoire economique du monde, dansee.” Mid-September through Mid-October at various venues; fiaf.org

DAVID D’ANGERS : MAKING THE MODERN MONUMENT The 19th century sculptor executed numerous monumental commissions, notably the reliefs on the pediment of the Pantheon in Paris, as well as hundreds of busts and portrait medallions of the leading literary, political and artistic figures of his time. He was well versed in Neoclassicism but invested his work with forward-looking Romantic sensibility. The exhibit at the French Collection presents some 45 works on paper and sculptures in marble, bronze and other materials, many never before exhibited. Through Dec. 8, 2013. www.thefrick.org

Ta Ta darlings!! A Taste of France is my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.



Monday, September 16, 2013

ARTISTIC MELANGE and ENTERTAINMENTS (c) By Polly Guerin

The fall season ushers in rich cultural diversions and entertainments to fill your social agenda and cultivate your mind. Chagall and Kandinsky are revisited and the theater opens analytical discussions. Here’s the scoop!!!

CHAGALL; LOVE, WAR, and EXILE The Jewish Museum in New York presents the first U.S. exhibition exploring the darker works by Marc Chagall created during the World War II era. A significant but neglected period in the artist’s career, the exhibition from the rise of fascism in the 1930s through 1948, years spent in Paris by the artist and then in exile in New York. While Chagall oeuvre is recognized to its lighthearted and folkloric imagery, the era brings to light the suffering and persecution of the times through evocative paintings deeply responsive to the suffering inflected the war and his own personal losses and concerns. By the mid-40s, Chagall returns to joyful, colorful compositions expressing the power of love. Through Feb. 2, 2014, for information about public programs call 212.423.3200.

VASILY KANDINSKY: From Blaue Reiter to Bauhaus, 1910-1925. An exhibition of masterworks that explores the development of Kandinsky’s art over a critical period of time: from the Blaue Reiter period into the pure abstraction and total environment of his Bauhaus years connects art, music, and theater. This gathering of loans from private and public collections traces the evolution of Kandinsky’s concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. The exhibit charts the birth of abstraction, evolution of work that extends beyond easel painting with artists among his peers including Albert Bloch, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, and August Macke. At Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Ave. at 86th St. Opens October 3.

FINAL ANALYSIS By Otho Eskin and directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser is a though provoking play set in Vienna. The inception of Final Analysis was a historical incident. In 1910, Gustav Mahler, one of the great composers and orchestral conductors of his era, sought out Sigmund Freud for psychoanalytic help as his wife; Alma was threatening to leave Gustav. The setting brings us into this world of Vienna on the eve of World War I, a hot-house in which the upper classes lived in the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire, against a background of crushing poverty of the masses, corruption, ethnic hatred and virulent anti-Semitism. At the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St. (between 9thand10th Ave.) Call Ticket Central: 212.279.4200. Through Oct. 6th.

Ta Ta darlings!! Final Analysis was my choice this week. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs on fashion, remarkable men and women.


Monday, September 9, 2013

STAVRINOS, GEORGE Illustrator Extraordinaire (c) By Polly Guerin

A seductive draftsman and fashion illustrator, the renaissance artist George Stavrinos was a gifted designer, photographer, filmmaker and commercial illustrator who gets stellar recognition in the exhibition, THE VISION OF GEORGE STAVRINOS at the Museum of American Illustration/the Society of Illustrators at 128 E. 63rd St. in New York City through October 19, 2013, which features over 100 illustrations highlighting Stavrinos’ career. His works are punctuated by supreme beings, women and men so chic and elegant that they graced the pages of elite magazines and the fashion advertisements of the most prestigious department store advertisements in the city.


A TALENTED STUDENT Like a phoenix rising from the sea Stavrinos emerged as an unprecedented talent in a family that approved his career choice. He studied graphics at the Rhode Island School of Design, moving later in 1973 to New York City where he presented his portfolio to eh prestigious Push Pin Studios where co-founders Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser recognized his talent and offered him a staff position. Though Stavrinos chose only to be represented by Push Pin, his oeuvre was prolific. He expanded his client list to include the New York Magazine, Bonwit Teller, Psychology Today, Pan Am, Columbia Records, Capezio, Viva, Oui and Gentlemen’s Quarterly to name a few.

A BRILLIANT CAREER George’s career, kicked off in the fast trace and in 1977, when he began producing fashion illustrations for Barney’s and in conjunction with an ad agency, his work quickly became the face of Barney’s, new, chic, upscale look. It was at this time that George contributed work to the Gay Source: A Catalog for Men. Stavrinos was at the height of his métier, a sort after artist and weaver of magical images that live in his illustrations. He also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and was invited to lecture at Tokyo's Designers Gakium College and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In 1979, Stavrinos began an association with the retailer Bergdorf Goodman that would launch him into the fashion world's stratosphere.

PARTNERSHIP WITH LGBT Stavrinos’ life was cut all too short in 1990 at the age of 42 from pneumonia related causes and by the AIDs epidemic that swept through an entire generation. Yet, his work steadfastly remains an inspiration for art and fashion today so it is fitting that in partnership with Live Out Loud a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) youth that a portion of the proceeds generated during the exhibition will be donated to the Live Out Loud scholarship program awarded to college-bound LGBT high school seniors based on leadership, community service, academic credentials, financial need and future goals. Visit: www.liveoutloud.info

The Society of Illustrators, founded in1901, is the oldest non-profit organization solely dedicated to the art and appreciation of illustration in America. Prominent Society members have been Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell, among others. It is open to the public free of charge on Tuesday, 10-8pm; Wednesday-Friday, 10-5pm; and Saturday, 12-4pm. www.societyillustrators.org.



Monday, August 19, 2013

ENERGETIC BLISS with SHARON DYKERK-LONERGAN By Polly Guerin

In a world filled with the cacophony of city life, the stress of work or personal health concerns it is comforting to know that women seeking the resurgence of harmony in their lifestyle need go no further but turn to Sharon’s Energetic Bliss. Her mission statement says it all. “My belief in the healing arts is deeply profound, providing an Energetic “whole” – istic approach. I pledge to keep the power of gentle professional touch alive by providing an important service to women that can truly improve their quality of life by being the conduit, for their own self-healing.” Sharon is a woman determined to succeed in holistic healing with a subtle approach that underscores the philosophy of Energetic Bliss.


HOLISTIC HEALING Sharon has dedicated her life to the well being of others. She is a woman whose hands have a distinct therapeutic touch that is gentle, yet goes deep into sensitizing where a client’s energy centers need the most attention and revitalization. With soft persuasive hands, Sharon‘s gentle professional touch serves as a conduit that also helps women to heal themselves and clear toxins whether emotional, chemical or both. Her services are tuned into the needs of the individual and her uncanny ability to immediately attune to a client’s concerns makes her a truly sensitive practitioner.

THE SERVICES Sharon practices in disciplines including Reiki, Aromatherapy Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Polarity Therapy and Onnetsu Far Infrared Therapy. The wall in her salon attests to the fact that Sharon has honed her skills and authenticated her diverse practice. The serene salon has a skyline view with windows opening to the sunlight. A warm bed-like massage table, on which a client reclines, in a fully clothed session, provides a soothing experience that calms and restores disharmony in the energy fields of the body. You can almost feel the tension and the burden of everyday concerns melt away.

POLARITY THERAPY I can attest to the Polarity Therapy treatment as I was fortunate recently to experience it. Sharon’s featherlike touch scanned my body reaching blocked currents in the body’s energy field, and at one place in particular, she touched a spot that dramatically resonated to her touch with a gentle but almost electrifying reaction. I assessed this to mean that there may be severe blocking of energy in that area as well in other places. After the session I felt light and euphoric. I now realize that the power of gentle professional touch can truly improve the quality of life by clearing and balancing chakra/energy centers, relieve pain, activate the body’s natural ability to heal itself, relieve stress and release toxins or impurities, to name a few.

ENERGETIC BLISS, Natural Health Care for Women, focuses on your total well-being in treatments that soothe your senses, restore your body and replenish your spirit. Energetic Bliss is located at 121 Newark Ave., Suite 402, Downtown Jersey City, NJ 07302. Tel. 971.239.8479 or sharon@energetic bliss.com By appointment only. Visit her Web Site at www.energeticbliss.com




Thursday, August 8, 2013

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN SINGERS ASSOCIATION By Polly Guerin


 It’s not every day that someone turns 200 and that fact givescause for celebration in the year 2013, which marks the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi, arguably the most influential musician of his generation. So it is timely and a fitting tribute to the great musical genius that August Ventura, author, film maker and Verdi devotee is preparing a documentary film entitled “27” about the people of the Parma, Italy and their unique relationship with the composer’s 27 operas. Mr. Ventura is a visionary, a man who brings to the audience a rare and provocative essay revealing the famed city of Parma, its celebrated opera lovers in the cafes and Verdi Clubs.

PWSA I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend an introduction to Mr. Ventura’s oeuvre presented by PWSA, the Professional Women Singers Association, held at the historic landmark Players Club. Founded in 1982 PWSA’s mission is to advance the careers of women singers and promote excellence. It also functions as a network of distinguished singers who support each other in their professional careers. Non singers may also join and PWSA has a "Friends" category. For more information go to their website: www.womensingers.org.  (image: PWSA professional performers)  Marguerite Roberti, the featured diva in the film may be a singer from a bygone era, but she captivates the audience with recollections of performing in the early 60s as well as insights into her own brave career choices.

RETURNING to “27” Mr. Ventura is a writer, historian, archivist, and is as passionate about his film as he is about Verdi operas. He has wedded history and opera in a film that offers a fascinating glimpse into Parma, Italy’s cognoscenti, the Club of 27, the Verdi Clubs, and the city’s famed "loggionisti” at the Teatro Regio. Most captivating are the images of the everyday people whose devotion to opera permeates their life, and as if Verdi was an elixir of love, even the street sweeper bursts out in operatic song. Ventura’s talk was capped by a live-Skype conversation with Margherita Roberti who now lives in California. For more information about the film, go to www.27adocumentary.com.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

STRAVINSKY and His World Summer Escape (c) By Polly Guerin

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 Summer just outside the city is ready with a potpourri of events that sweep in on the cool weather promise to stimulate your senses at Bard’s tribute to Stravinsky during the Bard Music Festival.
Advance notice: Mark your calendar for music on the beautiful Bard Campus. Here’s the scoop!!!

STRAVINSKY and HIS WORLD The 2013 Bard Music Festival, scheduled to coincide with the centenary of the scandal at the premiere of The Rite of Spring, explores the full range of this great composer’s elusive and enigmatic personality and career. Through panels, lectures, concerts and cinema, audiences encounter works by Stravinsky—many of them rare---and by Americans he influenced, including Copland, Piston and Carter. Generally considered to be the world’s most influential figure in 20th century music Igor Stravinsky’s long life spanned continents, cultures, and eras. He also resembled Picasso in his gift for radical artistic transformation.

BALLETS RUSSES Success came in 1910, with the commission of The Firebird from Serge Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev encouraged Stravinsky to develop his ‘Russian’ vein commissioning further ballets such as The Rite of Spring, whose premiere prompted part of the audience to riot. Set in primeval Russia Stravinsky did borrow from folk music but transformed them radically. The Rite of Spring portrays a ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death to win the favor of the god of Spring. The ballet is a work of savage ecstasy, driven forward to its powerful, primitive rhythms. Stravinsky’s legacy and Russian Émigré cinema includes The Firebird and The Red Shoes.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Sunday August 11 schedule includes SIGHT AND SOUND; FROM ABSTRACTION TO SURREALISM in the Sosnoff Theater. Sunday, August 18 brings together several programs including The Émigré in America (Living in exile in Switzerland and France where he pursued “classical” music aesthetics). In 1939, Stravinsky came to the United States and exerted a profound influence on American musical life. For details contact: BARD College Annandale-on-Hudson: In the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center fishercenter.bard.edu or 845.758.7900

ORESTEIA BY SERGEY TANEYEV marking the first time this towering work was staged outside of Russia it was performed boasting a strong and predominately Russian cast. Bard’s new and original production, with stage direction by Thaddeus Strassberger, closed with its last performance on August 4 to stand up ovation and applause. The voices were spectacular anchored by mezzo-soprano Liuba Sokolova as Clytemnestra, doomed husband, Agamemnon bass Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev and an equally excellent supportive cast as well a rich and spontaneous chorus, with many Bard students in the huge ensemble of peasants. The resident American Symphony Orchestra ,with music director and Bard College President, Leon Botstein, was in top form and enriched the performance with equal bravado.

Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m to Bard to visit Stravinsky and his World. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column on Polly’s home page .

Monday, July 29, 2013

FASHIONABLE SUMMER IN THE CITY (c) By Polly Guerin



pollytalkfromnewyork.blogspot Summer in the City hits a fashionable high spot on the social agenda so mark your calendars. From Queer Fashion to celebrating the Dandy, there’s Crystals on the set and fashion heating up the Castle. Here’s the scoop!!!                                               

THE QUEER HISTORY OF FASHION: From the Closet to the Catwalk is a groundbreaking exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the first museum to explore in depth the significant contributions to fashion made by LGBTQ (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer) individuals over the past 300 years. With over l00 ensembles, from 18th century menswear styles associated with an emerging gay subculture to 21st high fashion, the importance of gay men as fashion designers is undeniable in the 20th century. “We hope that his exhibition will transform our understanding of fashion history,” said Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum. “For many years, gays and lesbians were hidden from history, and by emphasizing the important role that fashion and style have played within the LGBTQ community, we see how central gay culture has been to the creation of modern fashion.” Opening on September 13. A two-day symposium (November 8 and 9 2013) complement the exhibition. The Museum at FIT, located at 7th Ave. and 27th Street.                                                                        

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, Mr. Quentin Crisp takes the spotlight at MAD, Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle to celebrate the influence and works of this flamboyant 20th Century Dandy through. From the estate of Quentin Crisp a cinema series opens up this treasure trove of material to the public for the first time in films about his life. Film schedule August 2, 9, 16 and September 6, 2013, 6:30-9pm.On this past Saturday visitors had the opportunity to chat, laugh, and strut among a crowd inspired by Crisp’s life and works as the museum turned into a makeshift dandy salon.                                                        

PUNK: CHAOS TO COUTURE at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in its final weeks: closes August 14. SWAROVSKI ENTERTAINMENT presents “Romeo and Juliet.” That’s right, it’s the film wing of Swarovski Crystal presenting a remake of “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Carol Cariei and starring Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth and a host of well-known actors. The film will be released in October, but here’s the head’s up. A shrewd move for the brand is the Swarovski crystal “Romeo and Juliet” accessories collection that includes a ring worn by Juliet in the movie, a heart-shaped pendant, and other items that take their cues from symbols in the film, like pearls, swords and crosses. While fashionable accessories are not a bad pairing for any movie, it’s not necessarily a recipe for success. Mark your agenda for this one.         

THE WHITE QUEEN sweeps into your view with the historical fiction drama set to air August 10th on Starz, the medieval miniseries which takes place in England in 1464, during The War of the Roses, Edward IV of England. Played by Max Irons, meets his true love on a roadside, a commoner named Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson) whom he weds. “I focused on a very minimal silhouette and let the textiles talk for themselves,” said costume designer, Nic Ede, a 30-year veteran of the film industry, who used an average of 10 yards of brocade, velvet and silk for each gown. The austere period of “The White Queen,” is a lesson in period costume and a romantic journey into the court of Edward the IV.

Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m nipping off to MAD museum to see Mr. Quentin Crisp. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column on Polly’s home page .

Monday, July 22, 2013

SUMMER ESCAPES to OPERA and BEYOND (c) By Polly Guerin

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THE FURIES, John singer Sergeant 1921
Escape to the country and discover a world of renowned opera, theater and dance to refresh your creative senses and inspire your muse. Stay in the city and revel in multifaceted events, take a tuition-free course. The best of New York and go beyond and see Oresteia’s towering work first time outside of Russia. Here’s the scoop!!!

ORESTEIA by Sergey Taneyev. Bard SummerScape is internationally recognized for staging critically acclaimed opera productions, complete with magnificent sets and costumes and gorgeous music and with Oresteia Bard 's Summerscape does not disappoint with a huge, international cast in this year’s production of Russian composer SergeyTaneyev’s Oresteia. Rather than calling upon Russian history or folk tales, Taneyev looked to Greek antiquity, basing his libretto on Aeschylus’ powerful trilogy---Agamemnon, Choephorae, and Eumenides---which chronicles the calamities that befell the cursed House of Atreus. It tells a gripping tale of lust, murder, and revenge. The production at Bard College’s Sosnoff Theater, Annandale-on-the Hudson, is the first time this towering work is staged in its entirety outside of Russia since its premiere at the Marlinsky Theatre in 1895. Performances July 26, July 28, 31 and August 2 and 4th. Call 845.758.7900 The Furies image, pictured here, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

SOUNDINGS: A CONTEMPORARY SCORE The Museum of Modern Art presents the first group exhibition at MoMA to single out sound as a form of artistic expression, and one of the first of its kind. Soundings features the work of 16 contemporary artists working with sound from the United States, Denmark, Scotland, Australia, Japan and England to name a few. With a broad understanding of art, architecture, performance, telecommunications and music, these artists move comfortably among mediums. Soundings is a communal exploration of how and what we hear, and what we might make of it. The works include architectural interventions, visualization of otherwise inaudible sound, an exploration of how sound ricochets within a gallery to 59 bells in New York City. WHEW!!! Quite an experience…not to be missed. MoMA at 11 W. 53 St.

BUILD YOURSELF, BUILD NEW YORK Where does a young man or woman go to hone their skills in the building and construction industry? New York City’s Mechanics Institute, an educational program of GSMT, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen is now accepting applications for tuition-free evening programs for the Fall 2013 semester. The school continues to provide instruction in trades-related education and provides a unique service to improve job opportunities for New Yorkers in the building and construction industry. Programs include, Electrical Technology, Plumbing Design, Project Manager, Historic Preservation, Construction Documents & Design,Blueprint Reading, and Facilities Management to name a few. Applicants must apply in person at the Institute, 20 West 44th Street. The fall semester begins Monday, September 9th. Registration closes August 12. For more details contact James Loriega at jloriega@generalsociety.org

ESSENCE OF KIMONO – Art, Commerce & Culture is a stunning new exhibit of 50 one-of-a-kind, handmade Kimono and a retrospective of antique Japanese textiles at The Nippon Gallery at the Nippon Club, 145 W. 57th St. The exhibit, a visual feast and a journey across history and culture, highlights exquisite wearable art. It spans two hundred years of history beginning in the late 1700s, from the Edo to the Showa period. Visitors will discover how the far-reaching influence of the Japanese aesthetic has had on fashion, design, and art in the Western World. Hand-painting, gold leaf, embroidery, and shibori tie –dying are just a few of the skills utilized in the couture creations on displays. July 24 through August 23, 2013. FREE admission. 212.582.2223

Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m nipping into the Nippon Club to see those gorgeous kimonos. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column of Polly’s home page















































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Monday, July 15, 2013

CHILL OUT WITH A MUSEUM RESPITE (c) By Polly Guerin

Pollytalkfromnewyork.blogspot

July 15, 2013

By Polly Guerin

CHILL OUT WITH A MUSEUM RESPITE ©

When the heat gets hotter take a respite in a museum where exhibitions both entertaining and educational cool off the senses and stimulate your brain. Only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the Scoop!!!

MONIKA GRZYMALA Take a breather and float in the magical world of Berlin –based artist Monika Grzymala 's Volumen, a breathtaking large-scale sculptural installation at the Morgan Library & Museum with public viewing starting July 19th through November 3, 2013. Volumen is composed of sheets of handmade paper, some of them printed with images of autograph manuscripts from the Morgan’s literary collections, connected with bookbinding yarn and suspended from the ceiling of the museum’s soaring glass-enclosed Gilbert Court. Location: 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street. Themorgan.org

LE CORBUSIER: An Atlas of modern landscapes reveals the role of locations both real and imagined in the vast varied oeuvre of the pioneering Swiss-born French architect. Holding that functional building and urban planning could improve people’s lives; he famously defines a house as a 'machine a habiter' in his seminal 1923 book, "Vers une achitecture.” Not to be passed over lightly the extensive show includes samples of his works as an architect, interior designer, artist, city planner, writer and photographer, ranging from early watercolors of Italy, Greece and Turkey to models of large scale projects. At the MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art at 11 W. 53rd Street.

THE CYRUS CYLINDER and ANCIENT PERSIA digs deep into ancient history. The Cyrus Cylinder, a 2,600-year-old inscribed clay document, is one of the most famous surviving icons from the ancient world. Excavated in Babylon in 1879, the Cylinder was inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform on the orders of the Persian King Cyrus the Great, after he captured Babylon in 539 B.C. A unique aspect of the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of art will be its display within the Galleries of Ancient Near Eastern Art, where objects from the permanent collections—including the famous lions from Babylon—provide a stunning backdrop. Engraved cylinder and stamp seals played an important role in the ancient Near East. The impressions they made on clay documents served as permanent visual reminders of the sealer’s participation in the performance of personal, legal, or administrative act. 1000 Fifth Avenue, metmuseum.org

MUNCH/WARHOL and the MULTIPLE IMAGE brings together two of the 20th Century’s most prolific and inventive printmakers. Norwegian Edvard Munch and American Andy Warhol. The exhibit, organized in honor of the 150th anniversary of Munch’s birth, examines four graphic images produced by Munch at the turn of the century, The Scream, Madonna, The Brooch, Eva Mudocci, Self-Portrait and later revisited by Andy Warhol in a little-known by extraordinary series of prints from 1984. At SCAN, Scandinavia House, Docent-led tours Saturday, July 27, 1pm free with price of exhibition admission. At 59 Park Avenue at 38th Street

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Check out Volumen, it’s a sensational experience!!! Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column of Polly’s home page.

Monday, July 8, 2013

BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATIONS in the BIG Apple (c) By Polly Guerin

Spirits are high on celebrating Bastille Day this weekend kicking off with dance parties and block parties to entice New Yorkers and tourists to enjoy a “very French experience.” Only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!! BASTILLE DAY DANCE PARTY The committee of French Speaking Societies sponsors a Bastille Day dance party on Friday, July 12th at 404 W. 10th Avenue at 33rd street, from 6:30 to 1pm. The festivities include a prize drawing for two round trip tickets NYC-Paris on Air France and other surprises. Men should dress the part and bring out all their best Francophile style, wearing a suit is de rigueur or go casual wearing a beret with striped shirt like a French Can Can dancer’s male partner. Ladies are invited to wear cocktail dresses. General admission is $30, cash bar and passed hors d’oeuvres. For the fashionistas and cognoscenti there is a VIP Lounge, $120 with a gourmet buffet and open bar. For more info: www.bastilleday--- BASTILLE DAY ON 60TH Street is a three-block fete complete with live entertainment on Sunday July 14th, between Fifth Ave. and Lexington Avenue. Alliance Francaise invites you to celebrate Bastille Day and enjoy the best of French culture at FIAF’s annual street fair. From crepes, éclairs, and fromages with refreshing wine and beer, you won’t want to miss New York City’s ultimate French summer fete. Try your luck at the famous prize drawing, and shop for classic crafts, gourmet treats, and special gifts, and children’s activities in the kid’s corner. Don’t miss an afternoon full of fun for the entire family. For details contact: bastilledanyc.com— FRENCH RESTAURANTS CELEBRATE Bastille Day with food and drink specials in Manhattan: Le Singe Vert in Chelsea; Jules Bistro, East Village; Cercle Rouge, TriBeCA. In Brooklyn, Bar Tabac is holding a typical French Petanque tournament a ball sport. FILMS ON THE GREEN Pack a picnic and watch a film under the stars during the FILMS ON THE GREEN festival. This year’s edition features class and contemporary pictures about the various aspects of love, that only the French claim the prerogative. Fridays through August 2 at various city parks, with a final screening at Columbia University. www.FilmsontheGreen. MURMURS Created by nouveau cirque pioneer Victoria Thierree Chaplin (daughter of Charlie) stars with her daughter Aurelia in the North American premiere at this year’s Lincoln Center Festival. This 80-minute , nearly wordless work of visual heater, the multitalented performers occupies a dreamlike world in which everyday items such as bubble wrap, bellows, umbrellas and cardboard boxes take on lives of their own. July 24 through July 28 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater; www.lincolncenterfestival. Ta Ta Darlings!!! As my last name indicates “Guerin” I shall see you at the Bastille Day celebrations!!!! Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column of Polly’s home page.

Monday, July 1, 2013

FASHION JEWELRY: Drawn from the World-renowned Collection of Barbara Berger (c) By Polly Guerin

“COSTUME JEWELRY IS NOT MADE TO GIVE AN AURA OF WEALTH, BUT TO MAKE THEM BEAUIFUL”---Coco Chanel

Miriam, Haskell, 1954 Designer Frank Hess\
Glass beads, rhinestones, gold plated
Photo Credit: (c) Pablo Esteva
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but elegant, designer costume jewelry can carry a fashionista way beyond lunch and into spectacular evenings. FASHION JEWELRY: Drawn from the world-renowned collection of Barbara Berger, is an eye popping extravaganza of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, many one-of-a-kind, drawn from the Golden Age of costume jewelry popularized by fashion icons such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel and featuring designs by Kenneth Jay lane, Lanvin, Missoni, Oscar de la Renta and Pucci .

WHO IS BARBARA BERGER? The daughter of an American diamond merchant, when but a teenager Barbara Berger began her collection of ‘bijoux de couture;" she purchased a pair of Chanel earrings at a French Flea market. Since then her passion channeled her collecting and she went on to assemble one of the largest and finest collections of costume jewelry in the world. Many of the works were made expressly to be worn with haute couture clothing by fashion designers like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.
Barbara Berger , World Known Costume Collector
Photo Credit: Pablo Esteva

THE CELEB OPENING last week at the Museum of Arts and Design brought out the fashionistas and celebs wearing magnificent costume jewelry pieces and some individuals were a show unto themselves. Show stoppers included two gentlemen from THORIN & Co., Providence, Rhode Island,. a high- end costume jewelry firm---Robert DiSanto, as the Emperor of his own design wore a grey jacket bedecked with heliotrope and sapphire stones with a regal matching crown. His partner, Timothy Szlyk's Black Knight outfit and dramatic black mask were garnished with red Swarovski gemstones. Designer, Katerina Musetti’s husband wore one of her striking brooch creations on the label of his suit jacket. Ladies who lunch took the opportunity to wear magnificent necklaces that rivaled the treasures in the exhibition and one elegant lady’s belt was fashioned in multi-gems that ended at front in a charming jeweled bow.

SHOWCASING High-End GLAMOUR From swans to starbursts to feathers and flowers, the couture jewelry presented a stunning array of extravagant pieces in showcases with over 450 pieces by designers including treasures from Maison Gripoix, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Miriam Haskell, and Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino. The exhibition celebrates not only the heritage of costume jewelry, but the creativity of brilliant designers and craftsmen across five decades of high-end fashion. Costume jewelry took off as an art form in its own right in the post-World War II era. Synthetic gemstones and sparkling crystals opened up a spectrum of new designs possibilities, allowing designers to produced even more vibrant and elaborate creations allowing women to layer many accessories together in chic, over-the-top style epitomized by Chanel.

Guest Curator, Harrice Simons Miller, an author and consultant of vintage and couture costume jewelry wrote the book, Fashion Jewelry: the Collection of Barbara Berger (Assouline 2013) which accompanies the exhibition. The exhibition is open until September 22, 2013. For information on the Summer Jewelry Workshops contact: 212. 299.7712.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Fashion Jewelry at MAD, it’s too awesome, once is not enough, you ought to go back again and again. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column of Polly’s home page.